Amber Heard has NOT paid $3,500,000 she promised to donate to charity

Elon Musk paid roughly half of ex-girlfriend Amber Heard’s gift to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) after the actress committed to donate her multimillion-dollar divorce settlement to charity following her separation from Johnny Depp.

On Thursday, jurors in Heard and Depp’s $100 million defamation trial heard that the actress had only paid $1.3 million of the $3.5 million she guaranteed the ACLU nearly six years ago, with Musk’s cash accounting for a sizable portion of it.

The tycoon Tesla entrepreneur, 50, donated $500,000 to the civil rights organization on Heard’s behalf after the two started dating following her separation from Depp in 2016.

When the pair’s legal separation was completed in August 2016, the Aquaman actor, 36, stated she would donate the $7 million she earned in her settlement to two charities. Heard vowed to donate half of the funds to the ACLU to help its efforts in “fighting violence against women,” and the other $3.5 million to the Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles.

However, Terence Dougherty, the ACLU’s Chief Operating Officer and General Counsel, appeared in court on Thursday, informing the court that the organization’s pledged payment had not been settled completely yet. So far, just $1.3 million has been paid by Heard or on her behalf, according to Dougherty.

Heard provided $350,000 directly, Depp contributed $100,000, and the remaining $350,000 came from a Fidelity investment fund. Another $500,000 installment came from an account at Vanguard, which Dougherty claimed he thought was a fund established by Elon Musk.

When inquired by one of Depp’s lawyers if he had any messages with Musk about it, Dougherty responded yes. He stated that they had submitted a paper and emails to the attorneys in the money dispute. According to Dougherty, the ACLU assumed from emails with Musk that Heard’s $3.5 million gift would be made over a 10-year period. Heard’s money was deemed a ‘promise,’ thus rather than receiving a cheque in one go, it would be distributed over time. Heard’s attorneys have already informed the court that she plans to pay the money yet needs the divorce settlement to pay her legal bills for the time being. According to the court, Heard’s last gift was $350,000 in December 2018, and she has not paid any money since.

Dougherty stated that Heard informed the group that the cash was from her anonymous Fidelity account, but no additional checks were performed to ensure it was her cash. One of Depp’s lawyers asked Dougherty about the ACLU’s “efforts to persuade Amber Heard to pay.” He responded that they contacted Miss Heard beginning in 2019 for the next payment of her donating and they learned she was having financial challenges. The court heard that Musk was instrumental in arranging Heard’s gifts to the ACLU, in part as he had previously donated to the organization.

Musk wrote to Heard and Anthony Romero, the executive director of the ACLU, in an email dated August 18, 2016, saying, ‘I mentioned your (Heard’s) intention to contribute $3.5 million to the ACLU over the next ten years as you very much believe in what they’re doing.’

According to the court, Robin Shulman, an ACLU communications specialist, produced the initial draft of the op-ed in November 2018, a month prior to the article being published.

Shulman wrote in a message to Heard on November 29, 2018, that she sought to ‘collect your anger and wrath’ and turn it into an op-ed piece. When asked if this meant fury at Depp, Dougherty stated that it was about ‘gender-based violence concerns.’ In a subsequent message, Shulman told Heard: ‘Our legal advisors ought to survey this for the manner in which I avoided around your marriage’.

Jessica Weitz, one more individual from the ACLU interchanges group, told Heard: ‘I need to not ensure anything was expressed in here that places you in danger with your NDA’ with Depp after the separation.

According to the court, Shulman and Heard met face to face, and the op-ed was modified. Heard’s attorneys also made some changes. One of Depp’s attorneys questioned Dougherty that some at the ACLU expressed the view that removing allusions to Johnny Depp’s marriage and divorce made the op-ed less effective. Dougherty responded by agreeing.

Dougherty stated that the ACLU was in charge of putting the op-ed and suggested that it be published in the New York Times, Washington Post, Teen Vogue, and USA Today.

The list, as Dougherty described it, was in “descending significance and reach as we went down,” but it was more likely that they would publicize it.

Gerry Johnson, a member of the ACLU’s communications staff, wrote to his associates about scheduling the op-ed to coincide with the release of Aquaman, the film in which Heard was featured.

Dougherty stated that media outlets were more inclined to publish an op-ed with strong opinions, and the more the individual was in the public eye at that point, the more likely it would be acknowledged by a more significant media outlet.’

Dougherty was questioned by Depp’s lawyers if Heard’s marriage to Depp made the op-ed a “stronger product.” One of Depp’s attorneys queried whether she wanted the op-ed to come out right after the release of Aquaman? Dougherty replied he recalled there being a talk about the best time. He added that Heard’s desire for the story to be published just after the release of Aquaman was ‘logical.’

Witz contacted her colleagues on December 11, 2018, informing them that Heard’s team had returned a final copy, but it had ‘neutered much of her marriage and domestic violence.’ Witz stated that the idea was to “get this out this week to capitalize on the amazing marketing for Aquaman,” alluding to the film’s buzz.

In subsequent emails, Witz stated that Heard wanted to re-insert a reference of her obtaining a restraining order into the story. ‘Is there an elegant way to achieve that?’ said Witz. This remark was not included in the final edit. Around the same time, another member of the ACLU’s communications team, Stacey Sullivan, presented the item to Michael Duffy, an editor at the Washington Post.

‘Hello Michael, contemplating whether we may interest you in an op-ed by Amber Heard, who as you may know was physically assaulted during her brief marriage to Johnny Depp,’ the email added. Heard contacted her colleagues and the ACLU after it was agreed that the item would be published: ‘It’s going to the Washington Post!!!’

The court also heard about the ACLU’s fear when Reuters enquired in 2019 about how much Heard had paid of her $3.5 million promise. Witz asserted in an email to colleagues that Heard had “donated her whole compensation to charity,” yet examinations found that she had only paid $1.3 million.

Witz wrote to her colleagues: ‘I had nightmares about this last night, do you think this is OK?’ while she and her colleagues attempted to formulate a statement for Reuters.

Witz was questioned by Depp’s attorneys whether he was afraid that the ACLU was not speaking the truth. ‘She was doing all she could to deliver an accurate account to the press,’ Dougherty remarked as Depp grinned.

Please share or leave a comment on this article where the court hears that Elon Musk paid $500k of Amber Heard’s $1.3M payment to the ACLU.